It’s that time of year again! Sea Otter is here and we can feel the excitement as the weekend unfolds.
Whether it’s your first time to Sea Otter, or you are a seasoned veteran of the event, there are always new and exciting products, gear, and strategies that can help bring you to the next level.
You may be wondering then, how do I perform at my best during this race? Optimal fueling and hydration is how! We know that can sound very simple; however, we also know that in reality, it’s actually quite complex and individualized. We’re going to provide some top-line information to get you started – but know that it will take a bit of what we like to call “nutritional tinkering” to figure out what works best for you, and that’s completely normal!
Here are some of the best tips and hottest products to for Sea Otter 2023:
Sea Otter is the first warmer race of the cycling season. This means we need to ensure our hydration is fine-tuned. Knowing your needs is important whether you are a “light sweater” or a salty sweater. Some Feed favorites include:
- Gnarly Hydrate - with this product, you can add as many or as few scoops as you require to achieve optimal hydration for you. Personalized to the core! You won’t want to miss out on some limited edition flavors coming out: Lemonade and Salty Margarita (but without the alcohol!).
- Precision Hydration - with hydration options spanning from 250mg of sodium capsules all the way up to 1500mg of sodium tablets that you drop in your bottle, they have you covered! We highly recommend this for those of us who are salty sweaters.
In order to be our best, we need to ensure we’ve figured out the optimal fueling strategies for our individual needs. Carbohydrates are our fuel and athletes are pushing the carbohydrate boundaries. If you aren’t already, you should be too!
We typically recommend athletes consume anywhere from 60-80 grams of carbohydrate per hour, at the minimum, for moderate to high-intensity exercise over an hour in length. However, the past few years have placed an emphasis on pushing that limit and, we won’t deny, we have some professional athletes fueling at 120+ grams of carbohydrate per hour.
Although, if you haven’t tried this before, start with 30-40 grams per hour and work your way up. See how you feel at different levels of carbohydrates while using different products to find the best ones for you. An important note though, this should be done in training first. Never for the first time on race day.
- Maurten, Skratch, Neversecond, SIS, and Precision Hydration are great places to start for gels or drink mixes that are easy on the stomach. The products from these companies vary in carbohydrates to keep it interesting, too. If you want something more neutral flavor-wise and easy on the palate, check out Maurten or Precision. For more robust flavors, Skratch, Neversecond, and SIS are your go-tos!
- You may also find that after a while of intense racing, you want something to chew on. We got you! Check out Styrkr's Bar50. We’re going to say it - this brand is one of the most exciting launches of the year. Their bars are the best combination of rice cake and traditional bar that you’ve ever had, slightly chewy but not too much and easy to get down. It can be the perfect welcomed addition to the nutrition strategy.
- Osmo’s Power Fuel is new to their lineup and is a “stackable” product. That means it provides a really neat way to incorporate varying carbohydrates into other products, for increased fueling needs or better recovery.
- Honey Stinger is another Feed favorite. Their new Cherry Cola flavored chews have a hit of caffeine can be an amazing start to a hard effort. If you find you want some more salty flavors while still getting that caffeinated bump, check out Stingerita Lime.
Sea Otter is truly a festival of bike racing and you may be one of those bold souls racing two, three, or more times over the course of the week. Recovery must be prioritized if you want to perform. Here are some of the newest and easiest ways to get on top of recovery:
- Pillar - Triple Magnesium is an amazing magnesium supplement targeted specifically at athletes. Since an athlete is only as good as their recovery, Triple Magnesium may help through both muscular recovery and a good night’s sleep.
- CEP is a new offering on The Feed with Gold Standard compression support garments. Are you racing multiple events in a single day or walking around the venue in your downtime? These are a must!
- Total Recovery from SwissRX isn’t new, but they have one of the most complete, advanced recovery shakes out there. It’s not just about calories!
After all of this, you may be wondering: how am I supposed to carry everything? Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging. We’ve got the answers.
- Well, to start, Skratch has released a single-serving option for their Superfuel – so you can now take sachets of Superfuel, Maurten, or Neversecond with you.
- Endurance Tap & Untapped now come in bulk and you can simply pour your desired level of fuel into each soft flask so you’re good to go for your event. Speaking of soft flasks, we also have The Feed Soft Flasks if you want to drop your own personal favorite gel into it in bulk.
- For storage while on the bike (hydration and/or fuel), check out USWE, Bivo (cool stainless), and Orucase. These options can help store everything from fluids to solids. You’re likely going to see more USWE packs than ever before this season.
We can't wait to hear about your experience at Sea Otter and will be cheering for you the whole time. Let us know how it goes as well as if you have any other tips that work well for you or products and fueling strategies that you’re excited about!
The Feed Coaching Team